Gratitude List #2

Hi everyone! It’s long overdue, but here’s Gratitude List #2. It’s been such a busy time in my life that I barely have free moments to do much else. I’m sorry blogging has really taken a back burner for now. Work has gotten pretty crazy, and life is not slowing down either. But here are the top 3 things I am thankful for recently:

  1. S’s best friend and his beautiful fiancee tied the knot recently, and I attended my first ever American wedding (specifically: Irish Catholic). It was a weekend of festivities, and we had the wedding rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, Catholic mass, reception,  overnight stay in Boston… We were very glad to get to celebrate with the happy couple this beginning of their lifelong journey together. It was so interesting for me to get to see all the big and small traditions that were honored in the wedding. I am also selfishly thrilled that we have yet another set of married-couple-friends now!
  2. Since getting my driving license, I have been driving myself around everywhere. I know it’s a small thing, but it’s huge for me. I’m lovin’ the independence it brings, but also quite enjoy having my music play on the stereo all the way! 😀
  3. I was really excited to get to go to NAFSA 2016, the largest conference for international educators all over the world. It was my first NAFSA, and first visit to Denver. Both were great fun! It was such a cool feeling to be in a room full of almost 10,000 people who do what you do, and can relate to you on that level. I also loved running into and catching up with ex-colleagues and friends from all over the world. I’ve been slightly home sick since I will not make it home this summer, and it was nice to see some Singaporeans around too. 🙂

What are you thankful for today?

<3 Joyle

Sephora Play (for May) Review

Oh gosh! It’s been almost a month since I last updated. I have so much content to share, but so little time to sit down and write! In case you thought I was kidnapped by aliens, I have just been so busy with life. I transitioned into a full time job (and am still transitioning) and so clearly have much less time on my hands. I was in Denver, Colorado all of last week in this amazing conference for my career field. It was such an amazing experience to be in a spot with 10,000 other people who do what I do and understand it! Maybe some day, I’ll tell you guys more about my day to day passion in International Education!

For now, I want to share with you my review of the Play! by Sephora beauty subscription box from… yup, you guessed it, Sephora. Now, this box is always out of stock and it took a while to get in, but now that I’m in, I totally get the hype. You can join the waitlist, and once you move up the queue and get in, they will let you know!

For those of you who have been with Mrs Joyle for a while, you would know that I ventured into trying subscription boxes, and I’ve tried a few, but so far, this is the best. Granted, I have only seen 1 month of the box (May), but it is already better than anything else I have seen. If I could only keep 1 beauty subscription, this is the one I would go for!

simple, but chic packaging!
Comes with a cute little drawstring canvas bag that says “Let’s Beauty Together”.


Also attached, a nice detailed description insert for all the products in the box.
Item #1: BITE Beauty Amuse Bouche in Kimchi
Kimchi is this bright, almost florescent pink, color that bring a vibrant pop of color to any look.

I own the Amuse Bouche lipstick in “Beetroot” and it is has this nice citrusy scent and goes on very smoothly. I was impressed because I know how much this item costs at full retail!

Item #2: Origin’s Maskimizer: Drink Up & Clear Improvement Masks

The Clear Improvement Mask is a charcoal mask which is all the rage now, while the Drink Up – Intensive Overnight Mask is for hydration and radiance. I’m excited to try them!!

Item #3: Korres Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial in Wild Rose

I love this sleeping mask, if you will. I have tried a lot, and so far this is one of my favorites (along with the Dior Jelly Sleeping Mask I talked about before). It has such a pretty rose floral scent, and is calming to have on. It gets absorbed so quickly into your skin, so you do not have to fall asleep with a sticky or oily feeling on your face. Unlike many other sleeping masks, it also does not feel overly heavy on your skin which i love!

Item #4: BBriogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

The awesome mask contains argan oil (which I use so much of), which softens your hair and fights frizz, as well as avocado oil, which promotes shine! This product does not wear your hair down too!

Item #5: Tarte Tarteist Lip Crayon in Latergram

Now I have to admit, I have not used a lip liner in forever. But I’m always open to trying new things. I will have to report back when I have used this in a makeup look, but for now, I tried the color out and it looks so neutral and could be used in a simple everyday look.

Item #6: Atelier Cologne in Orange Sanguine (Travel Size)

I don’t know about you, but I like having mini perfumes around (in purses, especially) for that last minute spritz. While I have not worn this out yet, I have tried the fragrance and it is pretty interesting, very citrusy. It contains sweet blood orange & bitter orange peel. as well as geranium notes.

So there you have it, that’s May’s Play! by Sephora beauty box. I really liked all the items, and they were mostly from brands I already know and like. For only $10 a month it was an awesome deal. Also, did I mention that the subscription comes with this card that give you 50 Beauty Insider points with any purchase when you bring it in store? It also gives you a free one-to-one tutorial in store for beauty advice customized to you. Finally, the subscription gets you invited to a Play! Date, which is a meetup for fellow subscribers. It’s a chance to learn trade tricks, tips etc! Too bad I don’t have a Sephora store near me that runs it (the closest is a JC Penney Sephora, and that’s an hour away), or I would probably have gone.

Hope this was a fun read for you! Be back soon!

<3 Joyle

5 Things I Wish I Knew About Moving To A Self-Hosted Blog

Five Things

As you know, Mrs Joyle just hit the one month mark since its launch, not long ago. A month or so ago, I made up my mind to move The Dollhouse Diaires (my previous blog) in its entirety to a self-hosted blog. I wanted to buy my own domain and shed the of the free site. I wanted to blog for real and I felt that making the move was my first step (I’m not saying bloggers on are not real, because I have read some seriously awesome content during my time there. I’m just saying this step was what felt like the next step up for me.) in that direction. I had glorious expectations and had read so many other blogs encouraging me to make the switch. I could start monetizing to supplement my income, I would be taken more seriously in the blogging world, I could work with brands as a proper brand. So I made the move. I figured I will give myself a year to try this out, and see if I could take this beyond a hobby. Thus, Mrs Joyle was born.

I am still glad I did it now, though I wish I knew the following 5 things before I made the move:

1. You Will Need To Learn (At Least Some) HTML & CSS

I am pretty much a technological idiot. I don’t know coding, or programing…. and on the first day I moved to a self-hosted blog and launched Mrs Joyle, I realized I needed those basic skills to at least do some CSS editing. Google was my best friend. I got stressed out after a few hours. HTML was just a language that went over my head and all of it got overwhelming for me very quickly. With the free site, you basically select what color everything on your blog will be with a click of a mouse. You don’t really need to fiddle with HTML if you prefer not to, but with your own site, it isn’t that straightforward anymore. Wanting to change the color of a menu bar on your blog suddenly requires html/css and even when you manage to find what it is you need to insert, you now need to find just where you need to insert it. You can find awesome people online who have contributed html/css codes in forums and stuff if you look hard enough, but unless they wrote it specifically for you and your blog, you will need to tweak it to fit your needs. That means knowing what to tweak and how to tweak it.

2. The Learning Curve (in general) Is Steep

It’s not just the HTML or CSS, it’s insane how much there is to learn once you enter the blogosphere and start the journey of a self-hosted blog. From figuring out SEO, to marketing through social media. It is an art, and skills that I do not yet have. Mrs Joyle’s Twitter & Instragram accounts have not even reached the 500 followers mark, I’m still struggling to learn Pinterest, and half the time I have no idea what I am doing. Many, if not all the bloggers I know who have self-hosted blogs, run their blogs like a business, and you really need to do so to monetize and make it a viable income (in the long run). I don’t think I am quite there yet, and I am trying to realize that that is okay! With all the tips, tricks, articles you can find out there about blogging and what you should be doing, or should not be doing, it gets very overwhelming very quickly.

3. It Is A Full Time Job

This is only if you want to really invest in your blog and grow it beyond a hobby blog. Writing your blog posts are the first things you do as a blogger, but definitely not the only thing you do. I completely understand why blogging is a career and full time job for so many, because it is hard work! Keep in mind that I am doing this on top of a full time job, so I am really doing the minimal and most bloggers do wayyy more, especially if this is their livelihood. But on average, every blog post requires brainstorming, mind mapping, planning, scheduling, styling, photography, picture editing, writing, copywriting, marketing… and the list goes on. Combined with the next point: it takes a while before you can actually monetize, this is essentially another full time job (assuming you already have a 9-5), except you won’t get paid for the first year or so, depending on your progression speed.

4. It Takes A While Before You Can Actually Monetize

With the countless stories out there of bloggers who spend their days taking photos and rolling in dough, I can assure you it’s not that simple. While moving to a self-hosted blog is the first step to monetizing, in my opinion, it is just a platform you adopt to be able to get into monetizing. To get to a point where affiliate companies or brands will even look at you takes a while. You need a lot of page views and unique visitors to begin with, and that takes time to build up. To put it in some perspective, after 1 month + a few days since launch, Mrs Joyle has about 3000+ views. In the blogging world, that is pretty much… nothing. Most people who can start working with media agencies need at least 10k followers or so, based on what I’ve seen, but even if you do find a media company that does not have such requirements, with your blog being new, and having such little influence, you don’t get picked for the campaigns that really earn you much. You can (and I have) signed up for some affiliate marketing & Google Adsense, but the earnings from those channels are frankly negligible at this point. I did celebrate my very first dollar earned through those channels, but that’s about it HAHA. What I’m trying to say is that, at the beginning (and based on advice I’ve heard from other bloggers), blogging will not be a viable income stream. If you are a marketing maven or possess special skills that can accelerate that, you might begin earning enough for coffee or a meal. If you are an average person like me, you probably won’t even earn enough for a coffee in your first few months.

5. You Will Feel Discouraged Sometimes

Some days it just gets too much. I wonder why I even took that first step. I think this was all a really bad idea, and not worth it after all. I am definitely struggling with that lately. I realized I have been trying to grow too fast too soon, and it is not working out for me. I got myself too stressed over it. I have read one too many articles about “how to run a successful blog”, the ten things I should be doing, the five things I am doing wrong… and I am starting to feel like the soul of Mrs Joyle is getting sucked out of it because of all that. It was pretty ironic, because I thought the whole point of moving to a self-hosted blog was so I could have more freedom and independence with it, but instead I felt like the cost that I have put into the blog is now pressurizing me to do so much more (much of which I was no longer enjoying). The last thing I want is to feel burnt out from blogging, which I initially loved!

While there are so many things I *could* be doing for my blog, I think at this point, I just want to focus on generating good content. To me, that might mean not writing on a schedule, because I don’t want to blog for the sake of posting something, and would rather wait till I actually have time to put together something of a good quality. Life also does not stop because you decide now you want to run a blog. I still have a full time job (and am thankful for it), and a complete life outside of the blog that takes precedence. After all, it really is the life I am living, that is the content of my blog. To a great extent, I want to keep this space organic, and not run it like a factory machine churning out blog posts X times a week, regardless of what is happening in my life. I thought to myself one day, if you put aside all the monetizing, generating likes and shares… what would you do for Mrs Joyle? How would you want it to be? That answer, to me, is what I need to keep in mind going forward.

<3 Joyle

Asian Barbie Diaries

So, just in case you have not notice how totally random a person I am… I most recently decided to create a new Instagram account for a doll.

Yup, you heard right. It’s

It started when I chanced upon some articles (here’s one of them) talking about how Barbie, the iconic doll from Mattel, has been evolving and now include dolls in different shapes and sizes. I was like hey, that’s pretty cool, so I checked it out. I saw that not only was there curvy barbie, tall barbie, petite barbie now… there was also a nice mix of races and skin color in the new barbies. The diversity made me happy, because dolls are something that kids connect to during playtime, and it always felt terrible in the past that you could only find dolls that were white and skinny. I had a huge stash of barbies when I was a kid, and every single one of them was blonde, white, and thin. It’s so weird because at that point, I have never met a blonde, white, and thin person in real life. Why were all my dolls that way??? But the barbies were the only good quality dolls at that time, and they all happen to come with that one option. I love that now kids can actually own a doll that they can relate to. Even better, they can own a group of dolls that all looks different, and learn diversity at a young age!

I think there may have been Asian dolls that Mattel has come up with over the years, but they have always been collectors’ dolls with what-they-think-is-traditional-asian-outfits. It doesn’t really showcase Asians as part of real life, dressed in casual clothes, just like you and me. The price tags are also clearly indicative that those are not dolls to be played with by kids, but to be kept in a box in some sort of a museum. The Asian doll I finally bought was thin and fair, with almond shaped eyes. Which to be honest, still leaves much to be desired. But I believe in picking your battles, and for now, I’m contented with this baby step from Mattel. After all, this is finally a doll that parents can pick up for their kids at the store, and sits right next to the other dolls of different skin color, shapes and sizes. What would I like to see in the future? Asian dolls with different skin tones (I mean, I feel so bad for my Malay/Indian friends who people just seem to leave out when they are talking about Asians. They are Asians too!!) and different sizes (curvy Asian doll. YES.), because let’s face it, it is pretty stereotypical to think all Asian girls are thin and fair.

Anyway, long story short, I purchased the little Asian doll, created an Instagram for the doll, and start making a photo diary of “her” life. It’s like an odd need for storytelling, combined with a spark of madcap idea. I want to throw in all the cliche instagram pictures people take, but also casually comment on some issues pertaining to Asian people in the US. Like how we’re told we’re the “model minority” (What in the world?) or the ridiculous stereotype that we’re all good at math (I, for one, am absolutely terrible at it). Asian girls face a lot of weird racist comments in the dating sphere too, and even now, I still regularly get creepy messages from people online saying how “exotic” or “oriental” I look, and how they like Asian girls because they are submissive or some crap like that. You really can’t make these things up. It’s real, it’s here, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon.

So, here’s a quick shout out that if you’re on instagram, and you think the concept of Asian Barbie Diaries is interesting, to follow @asianbarbiediaries!

<3 Joyle

Here are some of the first Instagrams:


Hello world! #afternoonselfie


Shopping at Sephora! Re-stocking those red lipsticks.


I woke up like this, because I am literally a doll.


What’s New In My Makeup Bag? (#1)

This is the first of a new series I am starting – What’s New In My Makeup Bag (WNIMMB)? I love trying out new makeup, and so I am always on the look out for new and interesting products to experiment. Mrs Joyle is a lifestyle and beauty blog, so obviously I spend a lot of my posts talking about makeup and skincare products. I don’t want to repeat myself too often, so I will generally only share products during WNIMMB if I haven’t already written about it. I also go through a ton of samples all the time, from lots of places (e.g free samples from Sephora, promotional samples from various companies), and while I cannot talk about every single one of them, I want to share about the most memorable ones.

The products will be rated as follows:

  • If it is something I love, it usually goes straight into my regular makeup routine and I will keep using it.
  • If it’s good, it means that it’s not an all-time favorite product, but I still like it very much and use it regularly.
  • If it’s okay, it will be stored for occasional use, but I don’t like it enough to use it all the time.
  • If it’s meh, it probably means I seldom/never use it. In this case, I might be returning it, or passing it on to someone who is looking for something like it (sometimes is is simply a mismatch of my needs and what the product offers).
  • If it’s terrible, does not work, or causes breakouts/spontaneous combustion…. I think I will write about it in a separate post to warn everyone, and possibly lodge a complaint with the brand/company.

The two main sections you will find in each WNIMMB are:

  1. What’s New In My Makeup Bag… in March/April 2016?
  2. Memorable Samples

So, let’s get right to it! Here’s my April 2016 WNIMMB!

What’s New In My Makeup Bag…. in March/April 2016

1. NARS Blush in Orgasm


I finally made the plunge and bought this cult favorite NARS Blush in Orgasm. The Orgasm blush became so popular after release that it inspired an entire line, (including NARS Lip Gloss in Orgasm, NARS The Multiple in OrgasmNARS Blush in Super Orgasm etc). If you can get over the blush-inducing name, the NARS orgasm is just a really pretty blush. It gives your cheeks this healthy flush, with a hint of shimmer (but not too much). The color is a peachy pink and just looks good on most skin tones.  I’ve read about all the hype, so I had to test it out at Sephora when I was there. It was so beautiful and looked so flattering on me that the $30 price tag suddenly became less crazy to me. On my way home from the store, I went on the Sephora app and purchased it. I wear it everyday now, and it is so versatile. I can go from day to night looks with this so easily, and it brightens up my look instantly.

Mrs Joyle Rating: Love

2. Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class Eyeshadow Palette (Limited Edition)


I was looking for a good light green eyeshadow, and this had the shade I was seeking, and all the other colors were so cool that I had to get it. It helped that it was on sale! I have owned the Smashbox Master Class Palettes before and have had good experiences with it in the past (though they are so old now, some of them are broken). I was pleasantly surprised at just how pigmented all the colors in this Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class Eyeshadow Palette (Limited Edition) were, and had a ball playing around with the colors, mixing and matching.

This palette comes with 6 blushes, 2 highlighter, 32 Photo-Op eyeshadows and 8 get-the-look instruction inserts. The box it comes in is hefty and not one of those flimsy boxes some cosmetics come in. The names of each color is printed on the plastic lid so you can refer to it any time. It is now my most used eye shadow palette because of the sheer variety of colors and the good quality of it. I would recommend this for any makeup lover, whether to add to your collection, or to experiment with colors.

Mrs Joyle Rating: Love

3. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Beetroot


This lipstick is talked about a lot online, so I swatched it at the store, and the Beetroot color complemented my skin tone exceedingly well. So, I bought it. When I first put it on, I was really surprised that it smelled faintly citrus-y and was has a citrus-y taste to it too. As all regular users of lipstick knows, most lipsticks don’t taste great. This is always pretty odd to me, because this is a product that literally sits on your lips and if you ever lick your lips accidentally, you will taste. So being not bad tasting was an odd but good quality to have for a lipstick! I guess the hype about it being a lipstick so natural you can eat it was true.

I had the lipstick on for quite a while and it was quite hydrating and my lips did not feel dry at all. It was comfortable to wear all day, but it is not as long lasting as some lipsticks, so you do have to re-apply it rather often. As such, I don’t use it all the time, though whenever I do, I like it very much. The color is pretty on me, but not the most subtle, so I don’t think it is a lipstick for all occassions (at least for me). Was it worth it though? Yes, I think so, even as an occasional lipstick. It is natural, well made and of good quality.

Mrs Joyle Rating: Good

4. Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent Pearl


I heard about this product in a Makeup Facebook group I am in, and wanted to try it out. It is a drugstore brand that is very affordable, which was great! When I was younger, I used a lot more drugstore brands for cosmetics than I do now, and sometimes you do get great quality for a very good price, so don’t write them off so quickly. I actually started my interest and experimentation in makeup with drugstore brands like Maybelline, Revlon & ZA New York and loved them.

Anyway, back to the Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent Pearl
. They actually contain real pearl extract! The effect is very shimmery, though after some blending it works pretty well. I use it mostly on the bridge of my nose, and my cheeks. I use it both in conjunction with contour products, as well as on it’s own for simple highlight/strobing. I am no expert in contour/highlight, as I am still at an experimental stage with it, and don’t have many swear-by products yet. But this is a good product in this stage of testing the waters!

Mrs Joyle Rating: Okay

5. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black


So, as you know, I’ve been using the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner forever, but I recently ran out. I wanted to try out something new, and this Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black was highly recommended from the salesperson at Sephora. I’ve been using it everyday and quite like it! It seems even more long lasting than the Kat Von D, and I would come home after 8 hour days at work and look like I just applied fresh eyeliner, which is crazy! I am still getting used to the brush tip, and still have some trouble getting the perfect wing. I think I prefer the Kat Von D brush for some reason. Both these eyeliners have super sharp and precise tips though, so they are comparable in that aspect.

Mrs Joyle Rating: Good

6. NYX Wonder Stick Highlight & Contour Stick in 04 Universal


Remember how I said I am trying to learn contouring. I decided a stick contour product would help me best, and this NYX Wonder Stick Highlight & Contour Stick in 04 Universal was the cheapest I could find that looks pretty good. I am not sure how I feel about the color, and keep wondering if I should have gotten the Light tone instead of the Universal tone. I think the highlight part of it does not show up well on my light skin tone. That being said, this is awesome for a beginner like me, because you can essentially draw all your contours and highlights, then blend it all out fairly easily! The texture is rather creamy and thus simple to blend. I will keep using it until I find something comparatively affordable and good. For now, this will suffice.

Mrs Joyle Rating: Okay

Memorable Samples

I actually had a pretty good samples month, but I am just going to mention 2 of them that I was pretty blown away with and might be getting the full sized product of, soon!

1. Dior Hydra Life Jelly Sleeping Mask

I got this as a free sample through an order with Sephora. It worked so well, after 2 days of using it I tried to go online to buy the full size. The high price tag is a deterrent for sure, but I think I might take that plunge soon. I have used plenty of sleeping masks because they are all the rage in Asia. However, all of them requires you to wash it off the next morning and feels a little heavy even after a whole night. This jelly sleeping mask from Dior did not feel like that, and you don’t need to wash it off at all! You put it on at night before bed, and wake up with hydrated, plump and happy looking skin. It is crazy how great it works, I was blown away. I am also not the only one, apparently, because when I tried to purchase the full size product at Sephora, it was completely sold out! For a product close to a $100 at Sephora, that’s gotta say something about the effectiveness and quality.

Mrs Joyle Rating: Love

5. Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream


I got this as a sample through PinchMe (review to come when I get a chance) and use it sometimes in the morning, before makeup. I like how easily it is absorbed, and how it brightens my skin tone and balances the color out. It’s so simple to use, and not *too* expensive, when I run out, I might go get the full size. It is very much in line with the Asian Beauty Concept of whitening, which is less about bleaching your skin, than brightening it. Asian ladies covet the luminous, translucent complexion that so many “whitening” products promises. I have not used this long enough to comment on long term effects, but so far it’s pretty impressive.

Mrs Joyle Rating: Good

There you have it, my round up for the past month (April). I can’t wait till the next month when I can share even more new stuff I am trying out! What’s new in YOUR makeup bag?

<3 Joyle

1 Month-sary of Mrs Joyle

Hi everyone,

I just realized that it has officially been 1 month since the launch of Mrs Joyle!

That’s crazy, because it feels so much longer than that, with all the hours that have been poured into this blog. I have tried my best to work hard at this little passion project of mine, and cannot wait to bring you more great content! Whether it is your first time here, or if you’ve been a regular reader for the past month (or even before that, with The Dollhouse Diaries), I want to say a big THANK YOU to you. I have received support from old & new friends, not to mention the unconditional support and love from my family near & far, and that’s really what makes Mrs Joyle what it is!

My biggest achievement blog-wise, in this first month of proper blogging (with my own domain, hosting etc) was probably getting one of my first posts published on The Huffington Post. It was all very exciting, hearing from Arianna Huffington herself, writing for such a huge publication, and becoming a Huff Post Blogger (being able to contribute rather freely going forward). But it was also terrifying, knowing my now-not-so-secret-passion for writing is out in the open, and that my work is being shared in such a public forum. Still, I’m glad I did it, and it was so me to challenge myself and do something so insane in my first month of blogging.

I guess I thought if I kept giving myself reasons why I should not do it (e.g this is for more established bloggers, you’re not good enough to be published, people takes years to get there….) , I eventually will never get to trying. So I just went and did it. I was not expecting a response at first try and the whole thing was more about me making that first step, than for me to actually get published. But I did, Arianna picked it up, reacted so quickly to it and invited me to write with them. I think right now an editor is looking it over, allocating it a category, and later giving me an actual blogger profile on the site, but you can already read it here:

The growth on Mrs Joyle has been slow but steady. In this first month, we’ve only got a couple thousand views, but I am already pretty thankful for that. Some days are great and suddenly I have a few hundred views (yup, I’m still in the hundreds), while some days are slower. Some days I feel discouraged and feel like this is all going nowhere, but some days I feel super energized and excited that I’m doing this. I think my favorite part of working on Mrs Joyle is getting to meet other bloggers. I love making genuine connections with people, and go beyond a “like” on social media. I enjoy hearing the fascinating stories, ideas, and tips from fellow bloggers, while we navigate this crazy blogosphere together. Whether they are long time pro-bloggers, or fledglings like me, I really value and appreciate all that I learn from them!

So, at this first month mark, I think I want to start a new series for Mrs Joyle. It will be called the Gratitude List, and every month, I will share 3 things that I am thankful for in my life (blog, work, or personal). I sincerely believe in having an attitude of gratitude in life, because there is just so much negativity in the world today as it is. We need to sit down once in a while, take stock of what we have, and see our worlds through a more appreciative lens.

Anyway…. here’s Mrs Joyle’s Gratitude List #1:

  1. I am thankful for whatever blog growth I have had in this first month. I know it is nothing to write home about, but it is a start. I think taking the plunge and actually investing in a passion project is going to be a fun venture. While I’m not quite blogging full-time (nor can I afford to do that just yet), it is something I enjoy doing regularly, and has become a creative outlet for me.
  2. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it last month, but our kitten BB has turned one and is now a full grown cat! He has grown so much since we first took him home in a cardboard box at 8-weeks old from the animal shelter. We’ve developed such strong relationships with him, and he is such an integral part of our lives now. I cannot imagine life without him, and am truly thankful for all he adds to our lives. The same really goes for Nana, whom we rescued from the streets when she was starving. Knowing Nana is safe, healthy and happy now means the world to us.
  3. My current job takes me a step closer to graduating with my Master’s degree. I am grateful for it and also for my cool group of co-workers. Not everyone enjoys their work team and I’m blessed enough that I really do.

So there you have it! What are YOU thankful for today?

<3 Joyle

Nails Inc Spray Can Nail Polish Fail

Alright, I never thought I would ever post a fail… but I am going to, today.

Have you heard of Spray Can Nail Polish? Recently, I bought the much talked about Nails Inc Paint Can Nail Polish in ” Mayfair Lane “. The Nails Inc Spray Can Nail Polish’s concept is basically that it is a spray-on nail polish, instead of the conventional paint on nail polish that requires some skill/precision. You literally spray this product onto your nails, and get a fast & convenient manicure in the comfort of your own home. The idea is that the paint/polish would adhere to your nails, but not to your skin, and the excess paint/polish would wash off easily with soap & water. It sounds like such a cool idea, that I bought it from Sephora to test it out. I honestly thought this could revolutionize the manicure. I bought the color Mayfair lane, which on the bottle looks like it would be soft pink, but when applied was more of a silvery sheer pink.


The instructions were not too complicated. First, you apply a base coat to your nails (and ONLY your nails). Next, you spray on the nail polish. Then, you apply a top coat. Finally, you wash of the excess paint/polish from your hands with soap & water. Sounds super easy right? So I tried it. I followed the instructions to a T, taking special care to make sure my base coat or top coat was nowhere near skin, just on my nails.

I laid down a large piece of paper to prepare for excess paint getting all over the place, laid my hands on it, and sprayed. My first problem with the product was that the color was terribly uneven, the spot that you are aiming for gets almost NO paint, while the surrounding areas get flooded with paint. As you can imagine, my nails got minimal paint, while my fingers were covered in the paint. Also, as with spray paint, the smell was strong, and not pleasant, so I went outside of my house to do this. It took a while before just some of my nails looked like they were painted. I applied the top coat carefully, waited for it to dry, and headed to the sink to get the excess paint off my hands.

And it didn’t budge. I started rubbing a little harder, but it was stubborn. I think I was at the sink for almost 15 mins, and it literally took scraping with my nails on the skin around my nails to get some of the paint off. All these while trying not to hurt the painted nails. I panicked and pulled out my nail polish remover. Even then, it was a long painful process with very hard rubbing to get most of the paint off. By then, some of the delicate skin around my nails were broken and it hurt like crazy to get nail polish remover in there. After almost 30 mins now of scrubbing, rubbing, soap, water, nail polish remover…. here is the result:


Honestly, this does not look like I had a manicure. It looks like I played with spray paint in some art and craft project gone wrong, got it all over my fingers and now cannot get it off. Which is kinda what happened. It blew my mind that this product hit the shelves, and of all shelves, Sephora. I love Sephora and shop there all the time, so I am truly shocked that they chose to stock this product. Where was the quality control??? I looked online and could not find negative reviews (maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough) which made me really confused. Did I do something wrong? I looked harder and most of the “reviews” I was seeing were big magazine names essentially advertising the product, and not your average person-blogger (eg. me). Hmm…. The Sephora page for the Nails Inc Spray Can Nail Polish was slightly more re-assuring. There were dozens of terrible reviews, an overwhelming majority of the 116 reviews were negative, and the overall rating of the product was two stars.

I went back to washing my hands (which I did a lot of that night), and by then I was tired, my hands hurt, but I didn’t want to go to work the next day looking like I forgot to wash my hands after crafting. The funny thing was that while the paint did not come off my skin, it came off my nails. Yup, the polish came off so easily on my “manicured” nails that I can’t help thinking… even if it had worked, and the excess paint came off my skin, what is the point of nail polish that falls right off when you wash your hands??

I gave up at some point, and this was the final result on both hands.One hand was slightly better than the other, but both looked terrible.


I spent HOURS on hold with the Sephora hotline after that, but the best I could get was to return the product. Since it was not a Sephora brand, they told me I needed to contact Nails Inc directly for feedback. I told them I wanted to lodge a formal complaint, and they promised me Sephora Corporate would call me back within 24hours. No phone call. Nada. I even called Corporate myself, but was transferred straight back to the hour long wait for their regular hotline. I was disappointed at the customer service, because the in-store customer service at Sephora is usually great, but decided to let it go.

I went in to a Sephora the following weekend and returned the item with not much of a hassle. The ladies at the store were really nice, they even tested out the product there and were like “Oh…. this is so disappointing” when they saw how the color does not evenly distribute. They felt sorry for my hours-of-hand-scrubbing stories and my poor broken skin. But they still couldn’t do anything about lodging a complaint, and advised me to email or call (both of which I did, but with no positive response).

So that’s it. My rant. In my honest opinion, the Nails Inc Spray Can Nail Polish was an absolute fail. I think the concept is great, and if they could improve the product it could bring some much needed change for the nails industry, but at this point…. this product should not really be out there.

<3 Joyle

IPSY April Glam Bag Review!

The IPSY April Glam Bag has arrived!. As you know, I kept my IPSY subscription because I wanted to give it at least a few months to better gauge the value of it, and if I like the products enough to continue. I do love the excitement of finding out what’s in the bag, and trying out new products I never would have tried otherwise. For only $10 per month, it is one of the most affordable bags, especially when compared to other beauty subscriptions. The IPSY Glam Bag for April was a pretty fun one, so without further ado, here’s what’s in my April bag:


I received 5 items, 3 full sized items and 2 deluxe samples. They all came in this pretty bag that reminds me of the Aboriginal Art I saw when I was living in Australia. It absolutely fits the April theme of “Dreamer”, and is really cute. I am absolutely re-using this bag in my every day life.


Item #1: Moroccanoil – Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment. I enjoyed this product! I apply it throughout my hair in the mornings, working from the bottom to the top, and it makes it a lot softer and manageable. I will definitely continue using it! This item has also won many awards and is known for it’s multi-tasking abilities because it conditions, styles and perfects your hair!


Item #2: SOPHi by Piggy Paint – Nail Polish in POP-arazzi. To be frank, I have not tried this item so I cannot give you my comments. I am not big on the nails, and usually opt for very subtle soft pinks or nudes, so this is going to take a bit more courage to try. But I will… at some point lol. In the worst case scenario, I can remove it if it really does not work for me.


Item #3:Luxie Beauty – Dreamcatcher Tapered Highlighter Brush. My recent furor into contouring products (relax, I am nowhere close to knowing how to do it properly) meant I actually was thinking of buying a highlighting/contouring brush, so this fitted right into my makeup routine. I use it for the highlights, and also use it to blend the highlights instead of using my beauty blender. It has been working pretty well, and it is a solid well-made brush in a pretty color.


Item #4: Jelly Pong Pong Cosmetics – Neapolitan Palette. Personally, I have not added it to my every day repetoire simply because I have my own recent eyeshadow palette obsession (I will blog about it soon!), and have not found a chance too, as it is a pretty basic eyeshadow palette. That being said, I think it would be great for makeup beginners. It has the 3 main colors – base, contour and highlight, and makes eye makeup a lot less complicated. It contains Gardenia Flower extract and uses micronized powder for an 8-hour lasting power. It can be used both wet and dry, for different saturation & effects.


Item #5: Tarte – LipSurgence Lip Creme in Wonder. This is my favorite item from the April Glam Bag, so I left it for last. It goes on very smoothly, is a dream to apply, and does not dry your lips at all. The color is Wonder, and is so pretty! This is going into the list of my favorite red lipsticks, though it is not as bright a red. I definitely recommend the LipSurgence Lip Cremes, they are awesome!


And to end off, here’s a makeup look with the items found in the April Glam Bag! As I said, my favorite was the Tarte lip creme, it was so hydrating, a super pretty color, and great to wear all day.

What did you get in your IPSY April Glam Bag? Share with me in the comments, especially if you got different items.

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

<3 Joyle

The Well-Meaning Walmart Beauty Box

In my recent pursuit of subscription boxes (yeah, it’s now a thing), I purchased the infamous Walmart Beauty Box. For $5 a season, it was a steal, and by far the most affordable subscription box out there. So I had to give it a go, even though a part of me was saying “Really? You want to get your beauty fix from Walmart? Why do you have such a strong feeling that this is not the best idea you’ve had….?” It really isn’t the best idea I have had, but that crazy adventurous woman in me just had to give it a chance.

So I did. I filled out the registration form as usual, was a wee bit surprise there was no profile quiz (learning more about your hair type, skin type, skin tone etc), was taken through payment and completed the order. Not long after (I can’t even remember how long it took because I wasn’t really holding my breath with this box), I got this nice box in the mail with a happy picture of a sunflower. It’s the Spring box!! It looked pretty substantial, with some weight to it, which is always a good sign.


Here’s what I opened the box to find. We’ve got deluxe samples of… toothpaste (Colgate Optic White Platinum High Impact White Toothpaste), body wash (Curel Itch Defense Body Wash), shampoo (John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Visibly Brighter Subtle Lightening Shampoo), healing ointment (CeraVe Healing Ointment) and a tiny one-time use sample of BB cream (Burt’s Bees BB cream with Noni Extract). Mr S said it looked like someone went to the backroom at Walmart and threw a bunch of random samples they found into a box and shipped it to us. Which is sadly, true. Though, to be fair, the value of all these items if you buy it at the store could be more than $5.


The hilarious thing was that the moisturizer was a “natural glow” moisturizer that essentially darkens your skin tone to eventually grant some semblance of a tan, and the shampoo lightens your dark hair “subtly”. Those are pretty much the two things I do not want – tanned skin and lighter hair. I am actually pretty happy with my fair skin and black hair. I think if they bothered to do a profile quiz, those would be things I uncheck or indicate no interest.  I mean, I’m probably still going to try the items for fun, but will not be using them regularly, nor will I, obviously, be purchasing more of it. I also think I expected more makeup, and less hygiene products, because the name was “beauty box”. I was excited to try some drugstore cosmetics to learn about more affordable options like Maybelline, Covergirl etc, but that wasn’t to be.

The Walmart Beauty Box is kind of like a gift from someone who knows nothing about me and just failed the whole gift giving process pretty miserably. But I don’t know why I expected that much of Walmart, so I feel a little bad saying their gift was terrible, because I totally should have known. I also paid a total of $5 for it, so I feel like I can’t complain all that much, at that price point. I do think it was a fun experimental endeavor at a super affordable price!

Would I buy it again, personally? Let’s go with… no.

If, however, you are looking for deluxe samples of hygiene products like shampoo, body wash, and toothpaste, this is the box for you! I mean, it is $5, and you get to try a whole bunch of stuff (that may not suit you at all) before you buy the full sized products at Walmart (or Target, or CVS, or wherever).

So, thank you Walmart Beauty Box for a fun experiment! You mean well, I totally get it, but I just don’t think we should continue this relationship.

<3 Joyle